Waterloo County, Ontario Genealogy
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Guide to Waterloo County ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
- 1 History
- 2 Civil Registration
- 3 Census Records
- 4 Church Records
- 5 Cemetery Records
- 6 History
- 7 Places/Localities
- 8 Resources
- 9 Societies and Libraries
- 10 Populated Places Table
- 11 Websites
- 12 References
Waterloo County, created in 1853 and dissolved in 1973, was the forerunner of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. It consisted of five townships: Woolwich, Wellesley, Wilmot, Waterloo, and North Dumfries. The major population centres were Waterloo, Kitchener (known as Berlin prior to 1916), Preston, Hespeler, Blair, and Doon in Waterloo township; Galt in North Dumfries; Elmira in Woolwich; and New Hamburg in Wilmot. All are now part of the Regional Municipality.
- 1869 - 1911 Ontario Births, 1869-1911 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1858 - 1913 - Ontario, Canada Births, 1858-1913 at Ancestry.com--index and images. ($)
- 1869 - 1912 - Ontario Births, 1869-1912 at --index. ($)
- 1801-1858 - Ontario, District Marriage Registers, 1801-1858 at FamilySearch — index and images.
- 1801-1928, 1933-1934 - Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928, 1933-1934 at Ancestry.com--index and images. ($)
- 1858-1869 - Ontario, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869 at FamilySearch — index and images.
- 1869-1937, and some 1939-1947 - Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1869-1938, 1943-1944, and some 1939-1947 - Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938, 1943-1944, and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947 at Ancestry.com--index and images. ($)
Writing for a More Recent Birth, Marriage, or Death Record
- ServiceOntario, Birth Records is the only government-authorized source for obtaining birth certificates. Go to the section entitled "Order a Birth Search". This is the most economical, searches the widest time period, and allows searches for people not immediately related. A letter of information is provided rather than a certificate.
- ServiceOntario, Marriage Records offers a marriage search option and a historical certificate option.
- ServiceOntario, Death Records offers a death search option and a historical certificate option. Also official death certificates are available to a wider range of relatives than birth and marriage certificates.
FamilySearch Library Microfilmed Records
Some of the church/civil records have been microfilmed by FamilySearch.These microfilms may be available for viewing at Family History Centers around the world. To find a microfilm:
- a. Click on records for Canada, Ontario, Waterloo County. You will see a list of available records for the county.
- b. You will also see above the list the link Places within Canada, Ontario, Waterloo County. This will take you to a list of towns in the counties, which are links to records for the specific town.
- c. Click on any topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- d. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. . The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.
Ontario and Nova Scotia Census, 1800-1842
Canada Census, 1851
Census of Canada, 1861
Census of Canada, 1871
Census of Canada, 1881
Census of Canada, 1891
Census of Canada, 1901
Census of Canada, 1911
Census of Canada, 1921
Church records can include baptisms, marriages, burials, membership lists, financial business, and other records for a particular congregation. They may be available online or on microfilm, but frequently they are still with the local church or in centralized archives by religion. The Canadian census records asked for the religion of those listed, so you will be able to narrow down which archives to consult. For help with writing a letter requesting copies of records, see Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy.
- Link to Anglican church archives
- Link to Baptist church archives
- Link to Catholic church archives
- Link to Lutheran church archives
- Link to Moravian church archives
- Link to Presbyterian church archives
- Link to United Church of Canada (including Methodist) church archives
Online Church Records
These records are incomplete.
- Ontario Births and Baptisms, 1779-1899 collection includes indexed Ontario church records.
- Ontario Marriages, 1800-1910.
- Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923., images only.
- Ontario, Canada, Roman Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1760-1923, index and images, ($).
- Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1802-1967
- Ontario, Canada, Roman Catholic Marriages, 1827-1870, ($).
- Various individual church records at FindMyPast, ($).
See, Ontario Cemeteries for information on cemetery record collections not yet digitized, but available in published sources and on microfilm.
Online Cemetery Records
- Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid website has a free, searchable database of over 2 million burials in Ontario. It can be searched by name, cemetery, county and town, but its references do not include dates of death. Although it does not include any gravestone inscriptions, it can be used to locate graves in Ontario.
- Ontario Cemetery Ancestory Index
- Ontario Name Index (TONI)
- The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery
- The Ontario section of Canada GenWeb Cemetery Project
- Ontario, Canada Headstones.com
- Ontario, Toronto Trust Cemeteries (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Canada, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
- 1837 - The townships of Proton, Luther, Melancthon and Amaranth become part of the County of Waterloo.
- 1838 - The townships of Waterloo, Wilmot, Woolwich, and some reserved lands west of Woolwich were to become part of the County of Waterloo.
- 1840 - Halton County is divided into the East Riding and the West Riding. The West Riding contains the townships of Garafraxa, Nichol, Woolwich, Guelp[h, Waterloo, Wilmot, Dumfries, Puslinch, Eramosa, and others.
- 1845 - West Riding of Halton County designated as County of Waterloo. Waterloo County included the townships of Arthur, Amaranth, Bentinck, Derby, Eramosa, Egremont, Guelph, Glenelg, Garrafraxa [sic], Holland, Luther, Mornington, Minto, Maryborough, Melancthon, Normanby, Nichol, Peel, Proton, Puslinch, Sydenham, Sullivan, Waterloo, Wilmot, Woolwich, and Wellesley. Erin was included for all purposes except Legislative Assembly representation, while Dumfries was included for purposes of Legislative Assembly representation.
- 1850 - Waterloo County includes the townships of Arthur, Amaranth, Bentinck, Derby, Eramosa, Egremont, Erin, Guelph, Glenelg, Garrafraxa [sic], Holland, Luther, Mornington, Minto, Maryborough, Melancthon, Normanby, Nichol, Peel, Proton, Puslinch, Sydenham, Sullivan, Waterloo, Wilmot, Woolwich, and Wellesley. Land included in Waterloo County included land to the north ot the Townships of Derby, Arran, and Saugeen and between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, that had been known as the Indian Reserve.
- 1852 - Waterloo County alters in size. Townships within Waterloo County are North Dumfries, Waterloo, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich. The southern half of Dumfries went to Brant County.
- 1973 - Waterloo County is dissolved.
- 1912 - Berlin became a City.
- 1915 - Galt became a City.
- 1916 - Berlin changed its name to Kitchener.
- 1948 - Waterloo became a City.
- 1973 - Cambridge (city) is created by amalgamation of the towns of Galt, Preston, and Hespeler, and parts of Noth Dumfries Township and Waterloo Township. Waterloo remains a City, loses a part to Kitchener, and gains a part of Waterloo Township. Bridgeport lost its status and became part of the city of Kitchener, along with parts of Waterloo (city) and Waterloo (township). Parts of the townships of Beverly and North Dumfries and Ayr (village) amalgamate as North Dumfries Township.
- 1851 - Guelph became a Town. Annexed to Wellington District in 1852.
- 1857 - Galt became a Town.
- 1870 - Berlin became a Town.
- 1876 - Waterloo became a Town.
- 1900 - Preston became a Town.
- 1901 - Hespeler became a Town.
- 1922 - Elmira (village) becomes a Town.
- 1966 - New Hamburg became a Town.
- 1973 - New Hamburg lost its status and became part of Wilmot Township. Elmira and St. Jacobs lost their status and became part of Woolwich Township.
- 1850 - Galt became a Village.
- 1852 - Preston became a Village.
- 1854 - Berlin became a Village.
- 1857 - New Hamburg and Waterloo became Villages.
- 1859 - New Hope was incorporated as Hespeler (village).
- 1883 - Ayr became a Village.
- 1886 - Elmira became a Village.
- 1904 - St. Jacobs became a Police Village.
- 1906 - Hawkesville became a Police Village.
- 1907 - Bridgeport became a Village and St. Clements and Baden became Police Villages.
- 1908 - Wellesley became a Police Village.
- 1915 - Conestogo became a Police Village.
- 1919 - Linwood became a Police Village.
- 1962 - Wellesley changed its status to Village.
- 1973 - Bridgeport lost its status and became part of the city of Kitchener. St. Clements, Wellesley, and Linwood lost their status and became part of Wellesley Township. Conestogo lost its status and became part of Wilmot Township. Ayr lost its status and became part of North Dumfries Township.
Census: in both North Dumfries and Wellesley Townships 1851 Census one Division of each has been lost with time.
- North Dumfries
- Waterloo ( 1861 map of township)
- Wellesley Neighboring Counties
Perth | Oxford | Brant | Wellington
For general information about Ontario cemeteries, please read about Cemeteries in the Province of Ontario Resources - Cemeteries.
- Cemeteries of Waterloo County, Ontario full and partial transcriptions at Interment.net
- Map of Waterloo Cemeteries
- 1840 Census - Wilmot Township
- 1852 Census - Canada West, Waterloo District #38
- 1901 Census - Waterloo County, Ontario Waterloo, Wellesley, Woolrich, Berlin, Elmira
- 1901 Census - Waterloo County, Ontario North Dumfries, Waterloo South, Galt, Wilmot, Hespeller, Preston, Ayr, New Hamburg
- 1911 Census - Waterloo County, Ontario Waterloo, Wellesley, Woolrich, Berlin, Elmira
- 1911 Census - Waterloo County, Ontario North Dumfries, Waterloo South, Galt, Wilmot, Hespeller, Preston, Ayr, New Hamburg
Moore, Philip. My Danish Ancestors. History of William and Wilhelmine Neilson, William stowed away on a ship to North Shields, England in 1863. A brother Frederick came also. Picture of the Neilson family dated 1905. Names mentioned are Moore, Freeman, Todd, Wragge, Atkinson, and Lewins. A descendant moves to Newbottle, and to Galt, Ontario, Canada. Article dated 1786-1901. Article in Northumberland & Durham Family History Society Journal, vol. 35 no.2. pages 63-65. Family History Library Reference 942.8 B2jo v35.no.2. (summer 2010) vol. 35, no.2.
Newspapers & Obituaries
Societies and Libraries
Populated Places Table
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The Forebears website will give you an extensive list of websites that could have information for people who lived in this county. Some sites cover just the county, some cover all of Ontario, and some cover all of Canada. Some sites are databases of names and facts about people; other sites cover background information such as maps, history, geography, or genealogy strategies and methods for the region.
- Rootsweb/Ancesty.com: Waterloo County, Ontario message board
- Ontario GenWeb: Waterloo County
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Waterloo Region People Test Site
- Ezra Eby Revived Mennonite Genealogy
- Match and Merge Genealogy Waterloo Perth and Oxford Counties
- Wikipedia contributors, "Waterloo, Ontario," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterloo%2C_Ontario, accessed 14 June 2017.